Peggle: Dual Shot

Peggle: Dual Shot
Peggle: Dual Shot Cover
Platforms Nintendo DS
Genre Addictive Pachinko Puzzler
Score 7  Clock score of 7Gameplay: 7
Fun Factor: 8
Gfx/Sound: 7
Story: 0
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Peggle: Dual Shot is the Nintendo DS port of the popular puzzle-casual game, Peggle. It was released early this year and is a compilation of both Peggle and Peggle Nights. Peggle has appeared on a variety of platforms, but made it big when a themed demo of it was released with The Orange Box. The gameplay of Peggle is pretty simple, it's a bit like Pachinko, where you shoot/drop balls from the top of screen and watch them bounce off pegs (Peggles). Yeah, that's really about it, but if you know anything about the Japanese and their Pachinko, you know they can be addicted, and so will you if you pick up Peggle.

It's all so deceptively simple, but you'll be hooked. Each stage has a collection of both blue and orange peggles, the goal is to knock out all the orange pegs with 10 or less shots. While this remains constant throughout the game, each stage is set up differently, featuring new challenges, and there are also power-ups available to you. Plus the whole game is wrapped in this oddly endearing yet creepy package starring a bunch of furry animals. Well, here's my review of Peggle: Dual Shot.

What I loved: Lots of levels, lots and lots of levels. Without booting the game up I'd guess there were around 120 puzzles as it features both regular Peggle levels, and Peggle Nights (a sequel/expansion of sorts). Each level just takes a few minutes and by the time you check your watch, two hours will have flown by. Yes, this game is both the ultimate boredom killer and time stealer. Beware.

What I liked: While the core of the gameplay does not change from level to level or even world to world, it's always throwing enough challenge and variety at you to keep going. Levels are broken up by worlds, where each world is hosted by a different animal creature. Each animal also has a different power-up, for example the first one will show you the trajectory your ball will take after its first bounce, usually you can only see the initial launch. A couple of the later ones will actually automatically "explode" some orange peggles for you, meaning if you're really smart with the power-up, you can nail some orange peggles that are really well guarded by blue peggles. Of course, power-ups are limited for each stage, so you have to be smart about their use in general.

Whenever you're about to hit your last orange peggle on the level, the game zooms in and goes into slow motion. This is an awesome little effect that never gets old. Even if you miss the peggle, it's exciting, and because it slows down, you have the opportunity to figure out how to improve your shot. The icing on the cake though is when you do hit the final peggle, a brilliant rendition of Ode to Joy suddenly bursts from the DS's tinny speakers. You feel like you just conquered an army or something.

If you're into it, above the 120 or so stages, there's also many more challenges. I was honestly burned out of Peggle: Dual Shot at this point, but maybe you'll stick it out to keep playing.

Peggle Dual Shot Halloween Spider

What I didn't like: Peggle requires an incredible amount of luck, so much so that you can absolutely fail a level one minute, and the next beat it in three marvelous shots. Good luck trying to predict the trajectory of your shot after the first or second bounce, there's just way too many factors involved. Unfortunately most levels just devolve into pointing at the largest cluster of peggles and hoping for the best.

Most of the power-ups available to you are useless. I found a few I enjoyed and found somewhat helpful, but sometimes they'll hinder more than help. There's one that actually is supposed to compute the best possible angle your ball will take after bouncing off the first peggle, but it doesn't take in account all the crap moving around the screen! So you shoot it, it figures out the perfect shot as if time would remain still, and then... you miss because it just moved out of the way. I'm sure the calculations are complicated, but why bother trying if you can't do it?

I was also highly unimpressed by the stylus controls and quicky switched to using the D-pad. While Peggle shines on the PC where there's a mouse available, neither the stylus nor the D-pad are truly perfect. PopCap Games called Peggle Dual Shot the "ultimate version" of the game, I don't think I can agree with that just because of the controls.


Gameplay: 7
While the controls leave much to be desired, I believe it is simply a limitation of the hardware. The L and R buttons do allow incremental angle changes, but it's still difficult to determine bounce trajectory or get that "just-right-perfect-angle." No matter what though, Peggle's gameplay is a blast and way too engrossing.

Fun Factor: 8
With hundreds of levels and challenges, there's enough content to keep you buys for days. If you're a fan of Peggle, you will probably also enjoy this version of the game, for everyone else, here's your chance to get addicted too.

Graphics and Sound: 7
Aside from the wonderfully creepy art and the Ode to Joy explosion, Peggle: Dual Shot can be simply bland. Especially when you compare it to the gorgeous PC version, but for what it does on the small screens, it does well enough.

Story: 0
Meh, I just wanted more gameplay, if there's a story, I missed it, and this won't affect the final score at all.

Overall: 7
Peggle: Dual Shot is a great game for any kind of Nintendo DS owner to grab. The gameplay is simple, yet addicting, and there's enough content for hours of playing. It's not incredibly original, but it will pass time like no other.

Peggle Dual Shot Nights